Massive sargassum algae blooms in recent years have become too much of a good thing.
The seaweed, while an important haven for oceanic life, such as sea turtles, has been so prolific that it has overwhelmed beaches all around the Caribbean.
In Mexico alone, almost 125 miles of beaches along the Mayan Riviera have been covered with the seaweed.
Massive piles of rotting seaweed also produce hydrogen sulfide vapors that can be toxic to wildlife and nauseating for humans.
The seaweed invasions not only cause tourists to stay away, but also are serious obstacles to onshore sea turtle movement, blocking mothers from accessing egg-laying sites and hatchlings from reaching the water.
It is believed that oceanic warming, human sewage and agricultural runoff have spurred the explosion in sargassum growth.
Few solutions exist for stemming the crisis other than government funding for constant beach cleanups.
Some look to a potential bright side of using the superabundant algae for agricultural mulch, biofuel, and other industrial purposes.
Source: Los Angeles Times, Barbados Today